Alarming Situations

I am both a night owl and a morning person (which means I'm an insomniac). The only reason I use an alarm clock is to pick the kids up at school on time. But some seriously deep sleepers (like my children) need more incentive to get out of bed than a "normal" alarm clock offers. You've read here about the Puzzle Alarm Clock, the Flying Alarm Clock, and Clocky the hiding clock, all designed to make you wake up and do something to turn the alarm off. The problem is that some heavy sleepers can learn to do those things without waking up! But clock designers are busy making it even harder for you to snooze.
For example, try this Bomb Clock. In order to turn off the alarm, you must connect the wires in the correct order, or an explosion will result. I don't think that will actually happen, but why take the chance?

They say that money is the biggest incentive in the world. That's the concept behind the Banclock. You have to feed it a coin to turn the alarm off. But eventually, you'll be able to take that money out. I think.

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The cops are coming! The Emergency Alarm Clock wakes you up with blue lights and a siren. You can attach it to the wall or window if you like. Also good for pranking your sleeping friends.

More ways to wake up, after the jump.

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You might think the siren clock would be the loudest, but this cute little innocent-looking Sonic Boom Sweetheart Alarm Clock has a 113 decibel alarm! That makes the volume about equivalent to being in the front row at a rock concert. That should wake you up. And everyone else within a mile radius.

 

You can program the IKEA Slabang Alarm Clock to use your voice as the alarm, or any sound you want, via its built-in microphone. This would be great for kids, since research shows children are more likely to wake to a parent's voice than to an alarm. Mark Frauenfelder recorded his to play "I Got You Babe", just like in the movie Groundhog Day.

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There are other pleasant ways to awaken. The Voco Clock wakes you with the soothing voice of Stephen Fry politely reminding you to wake up. "Good morning, sir. I'm so sorry to disturb you, but it appears to be morning. Very inconvenient, I agree, sir. I believe it is the rotation of the earth that is to blame, sir." But don't take my word for it; you can hear that and other wakeup phrases at the product site. A "Madam" version should be available soon.
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But the most pleasant way yet to wake up is to the smell of frying bacon. Place a frozen strip of bacon into the Bacon Clock before you retire. Ten minutes before alarm time, the clock begins to fry the bacon with halogen lamps. At your rising time, the bacon is ready and the smell is to die for. Who could sleep through that?

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If anyone builds a better alarm clock, I want to know about it.

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Bibo Barmaid
Bibo Barmaid Is Like a Keurig for Cocktails—and You Can Buy It Now
Bibo Barmaid
Bibo Barmaid

To make great-tasting cocktails at home, you could take a bartending class, or you could just buy a fancy gadget that does all the work for you. Imbibers interested in the hands-off approach should check out Bibo Barmaid, a cocktail maker that works like a Keurig machine for booze.

According to Supercall, all you need to turn the Bibo Barmaid system into your personal mixologist is a pouch of liquor and a pouch of cocktail flavoring. Bibo's liquor options include vodka, whiskey, rum, and agave spirit (think tequila), which can be paired with flavors like cucumber melon, rum punch, appletini, margarita, tangerine paloma, and mai tai.

After choosing your liquor and flavor packets, insert them into the machine, press the button, and watch as it dilutes the mixture and pours a perfect single portion of your favorite drink into your glass—no muddlers or bar spoons required.

Making cocktails at home usually means investing in a lot of equipment and ingredients, which isn't always worth it if you're preparing a drink for just yourself or you and a friend. With Bibo, whipping up a cocktail isn't much harder than pouring yourself a glass of wine.

Bibo Barmaid is now available on Amazon for $240, and cocktail mixes are available on Bibo's website starting at $35 for 18 pouches. The company is working on rolling out its liquor pouches in liquor stores and other alcohol retailers across the U.S.

[h/t Supercall]

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iStock
New Health-Monitoring Litter Box Could Save You a Trip to the Vet
iStock
iStock

Unsure if your cat is sick or just acting aloof per usual? A “smart toilet” for your fur baby could help you decide whether a trip to the vet is really necessary.

Enter the Pet Care Monitor: More than a litter box, the receptacle is designed to analyze cat urine for health issues, The Asahi Shimbun in Tokyo reports. Created by the Japan-based Sharp Corporation—better known for consumer electronics such as TVs, mobile phones, and the world's first LCD calculator—the product will be available for purchase on the company’s website starting July 30 (although shipping limitations may apply).

Sensors embedded in the monitor can measure your cat’s weight and urine volume, as well as the frequency and duration of toilet trips. That information is then analyzed by an AI program that compares it to data gleaned from a joint study between Sharp Corp and Tottori University in Japan. If there are any red flags, a report will be sent directly to your smartphone via an application called Cocoro Pet. The monitor could be especially useful for keeping an eye on cats with a history of kidney and urinary tract problems.

If you have several cats, the company offers sensors to identify each pet, allowing separate data sets to be collected and analyzed. (Each smart litter box can record the data of up to three cats.)

The Pet Care Monitor costs about $225, and there’s an additional monthly fee of roughly $3 for the service. Sharp Corporation says it will continue developing health products for pets, and it has already created a leg sensor that can tell if a dog is nervous by measuring its heart and respiratory rates.

[h/t The Asahi Shimbun]

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